Patient/Survivor/Caregiver Reviewer Program

What is the CCS Patient/Survivor/Caregiver Reviewer Program?

The CCS Patient/Survivor/Caregiver (PSC) reviewer program engages members of the community from across the country to serve as members of research grant review panels. Through this program, CCS aims to provide members of our community an opportunity to have a valued and empowered voice in shaping the way research funding decisions are made. Patient, survivor and caregiver representation in our peer review process helps to ensure that we are funding the most promising cancer research that is relevant to and will impact the lives of people affected by and at risk of cancer. 

Who can serve as a patient/survivor/caregiver reviewer?

For the purpose of this initiative, we define patients, survivors and caregivers as individuals living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis, including their caregivers, who have a strong interest in cancer research. They must have an appreciation for the different facets of research across the entire cancer experience and across all cancer types. They bring with them a unique insight and lived experience of the cancer journey as a patient, survivor, or a caregiver of an individual with cancer. PSC reviewers are expected to represent the views of the patient population in general and must therefore consider all applications equally regardless of their specific cancer interest. 

Please note that CCS staff are not eligible to participate in this program.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a patient/survivor/caregiver reviewer?

  • Participate in the peer review process as members of the grant review panel. Typically, this entails reviewing approximately 5 applications. At a minimum, they will be asked to read the public summary and scientific abstract, assessing the proposed research for cancer relevance and feasibility from a patient, survivor or caregiver perspective, as applicable. Other application components specific to the funding program may also be evaluated, as applicable. 
  • Complete CIHR’s Unconscious Bias Training prior to reviewing applications assigned to them. 
  • Read all of their assigned applications in advance of the meeting, prepare brief written reports, and assign descriptors or ratings reflecting their assessment. 
  • Attend the panel meeting (currently being hosted virtually) and participate in the panel discussion. PSC reviewers will be requested to offer comments and feedback on applications assigned to them. 
  • The application submission and peer review process is managed through the CCS online grants system (EGrAMS). Thus, PSC reviewers must have the necessary technology to access the online grants management platform and participate in a virtual meeting (i.e. computer access and internet connection). CCS Research staff will make every effort to support PSC reviewers prior to and during the review process including technical support, information, training and accommodation*. Examples of accommodation are activities such as supporting technology set-up, holding individual meetings to answer questions or clarify information and providing technical support throughout the review process and panel meeting, so that PSC reviewers feel equipped to participate fully.  

*CCS is committed to national representation in its reviewer panels. As such, CCS can provide training materials in French and encourages participation of individuals who are French-speaking. While the panel meeting is conducted only in English, CCS recognizes the importance of French-language speakers and may be able to provide bilingual support during meetings.

How will patient/caregiver/survivor reviewers be supported throughout the process?

CCS Research staff will conduct orientation sessions for PSC reviewers. Orientation sessions will cover an overview of the peer review process, navigating our online grants management system, and providing guidance on writing the written reports. In addition, an honorarium will be provided to PSC reviewers in recognition of their contribution to CCS’s peer review process. 

Current opportunities

PSC reviewers are currently sought for the following review panels: 

1. Atlantic Cancer Research Grants review panel
The Atlantic Cancer Research Grants program supports operating grants focused on any area of cancer research (e.g. biomedical, clinical, health services, and (psycho)social, cultural, environmental and population health research). Grants will be 3 years with a budget of up to $100,000 per year. Applicants must hold a firm academic position at a Canadian university in one of the Atlantic provinces. 

  • Location: preference for individuals living in the Atlantic region
  • Time commitment: Beyond orientation and training, PSC reviewers will review ~5 applications (2-4 hours per application) and attend the virtual panel meeting (~7 hours each day). 
  • Closing date: Monday, August 9, 2021 
  • Panel meetings: September 28, 2021 (panel AC1: Biomedical) and October 6 & 7  (panel AC2: Clinical, health services, (psycho)social, cultural, environmental and population health)

2.CCS/CIHR Action Grants review panel
The intent of the CCS/CIHR Action Grants program is to i) motivate Canadians to take “action” by making healthy lifestyle choices that are easy to implement and maintain within their normal living environment and to ii) encourage “action” among the research and end-user communities to support this effort by harnessing new ideas, technologies, platforms, expertise and perspectives from within and outside the cancer field to test the feasibility of bold, novel interventions with the potential to prevent the onset of cancer.  

  • Location: anywhere
  • Time commitment: Beyond orientation and training, PSC reviewers will review ~5 applications (2-4 hours per application) and attend the virtual panel meeting (~7 hours each day). 
  • Closing date: Friday, September 3, 2021
  • Panel meetings: November 18 and 19, 2021 

3. Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) review panel  
The Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) is a highly respected research group that develops, conducts and analyzes national and international multicentre trials of cancer prevention, therapy and supportive care. Its primary mission is to assess the effectiveness of interventions to prevent the development of cancer or improve the care of those patients who do develop cancer. 

As one of the major programs supported by CCS, CCTG undergoes a comprehensive review every 5 years. CCTG will be submitting a renewal application for funding for the next 5 years (Feb 2022 – Jan 2027). 

  • Location: anywhere
  • Time commitment: Beyond orientation and training, PSC reviewers will be assigned specific sections of the application to review (2-4 hours) and attend 3 virtual panel meetings over 3 days (~10-15 hours in total). 
  • Closing date: Friday, August 20, 2021
  • Panel meetings: September 29, 2021 (pre-meeting call) and October 26 and 27, 2021 
4. Challenge Grants review panel 
The Challenge Grant program will support cancer research projects across the cancer continuum and across disciplines, with an ultimate goal of solving a problem (i.e. a ‘challenge’) in cancer that will be meaningful to people affected by or at risk of cancer. 

  • Location: anywhere
  • Time commitment: Beyond orientation and training, PSC reviewers will review ~5 applications (2-4 hours per application) and attend the panel meeting (~7 hours each day). 
  • Closing date: Friday, September 3, 2021
  • Panel meetings: November 2021 

In addition to the above opportunities, we are always looking for PSC reviewers and encourage submission if you are interested in participating. This page will be updated as new opportunities arise. 

To apply: 

Individuals interested in serving as PSC reviewers are requested to complete this form.

Candidates will be interviewed to get a sense of fit for the role, share information about the process and answer any questions you may have. Please specify the grant review panel of interest in your email and indicate whether you also wish to be considered for other PSC reviewer opportunities in the future. 

CCS is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusivity, and strive to promote inclusive excellence in our programs. We welcome and encourage all interested individuals of diverse backgrounds and geographic locations from across Canada to apply for this program. 

Last modified on: July 26, 2021